Detection of Ultrasonic Stress Waves in Structures Using 3D Shaped Optic Fiber Based on a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer.Sensors (Basel). 2018 Apr 16; 18(4)S
This work proposes a 3D shaped optic fiber sensor for ultrasonic stress waves detection based on the principle of a Mach–Zehnder interferometer. This sensor can be used to receive acoustic emission signals in the passive damage detection methods and other types of ultrasonic signals propagating in the active damage detection methods, such as guided wave-based methods. The sensitivity of an ultrasonic fiber sensor based on the Mach–Zehnder interferometer mainly depends on the length of the sensing optical fiber; therefore, the proposed sensor achieves the maximum possible sensitivity by wrapping an optical fiber on a hollow cylinder with a base. The deformation of the optical fiber is produced by the displacement field of guided waves in the hollow cylinder. The sensor was first analyzed using the finite element method, which demonstrated its basic sensing capacity, and the simulation signals have the same characteristics in the frequency domain as the excitation signal. Subsequently, the primary investigations were conducted via a series of experiments. The sensor was used to detect guided wave signals excited by a piezoelectric wafer in an aluminum plate, and subsequently it was tested on a reinforced concrete beam, which produced acoustic emission signals via impact loading and crack extension when it was loaded to failure. The signals obtained from a piezoelectric acoustic emission sensor were used for comparison, and the results indicated that the proposed 3D fiber optic sensor can detect ultrasonic signals in the specific frequency response range.